Airlander Returns to the Skies

We are delighted to announce a successful flight of the Airlander 10 this evening (Wednesday 10 May). All objectives of the planned flight were accomplished and the aircraft is now safely back at its masting site. The Airlander was taken off its mooring mast at 17:20 and took off at 17:28. It flew for a total of 180 minutes before landing at 20:15 and was secured safely on the mast at 20:20.

“It was truly amazing to be back in the air. I loved every minute of the flight and the Airlander itself handled superbly. I am eager to get back into the cockpit and take her flying again,” said Chief Test Pilot, Dave Burns.
On board were Airlander’s two Test Pilots; Chief Test Pilot Dave Burns and Experimental Test Pilot, Simon Davies.

This test flight recommenced the Flight Test Programme of the Airlander 10, which started on August 17, 2016. During each of its 3 phases, the Airlander will perform more tasks and be permitted to fly further away from its base in Cardington.

This marks the return to the skies of the world’s largest aircraft, the Airlander 10, and draws a line under the heavy landing it experienced last August. The Airlander has now flown three times in addition to a successful flight as HAV-304 during the US Army’s Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle program in 2012. There were considerable modifications since it was the HAV-304 and the Hybrid Air Vehicles team have made a number of additional modifications since last August, the main ones visible today being a new more powerful and more manoeuvrable Mobile Mooring Mast (MMM), and the additional “landing feet” of the Auxiliary Landing System (ALS).

There were three Test Objectives during today’s flight, all of which were successfully achieved:
  • To conduct a full test flight – i.e. complete a safe take-off, flight and landing of the aircraft.
  • To establish basic handling characteristics of Airlander within a well-defined flight envelope including assessment of the new ALS.
  • To collect flight performance data, such as handling, airspeed and all vehicle systems, for post-flight analysis. (This increases the understanding of the aircraft’s performance, capabilities and operating envelope.) 
The ALS performed as expected on landing, and the Flight Test Team were very pleased with the initial analysis of this new addition to Airlander’s landing system. 
 
Ultimately the Airlander 10 will break the mould of aviation, providing an ultra-stable, ultra-powerful and ultra-long endurance platform that will be useful in a huge number of roles from search and rescue, to border control, coastguarding, crowd monitoring, security, filming, academic research and filming.  There will also be passenger variants for the ultimate flying experience and eventually Hybrid Air Vehicles will fulfil a crucial role in point-to-point cargo transportation to remote areas.
 
“This is a great testament to the tenacity and ingenuity of the team of engineers at Hybrid Air Vehicles, who are continually pushing the boundaries of aviation with this amazing aircraft,” said Technical Director, Mike Durham. 
 
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd was recently accepted onto London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme for high growth companies looking to seek a listing on the Stock Market.
 
The next few flights are likely to be at least a week or two apart, in order to give time for a full analysis of the data collected on the flight. 
 
About Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd

Founded in 2007, Hybrid Air Vehicles is the company behind the innovative Airlander range of hybrid aircraft. They utilise new aerospace technology that combines the best of the characteristics of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters with lighter-than-air technology to create a new breed of hyper-efficient aircraft, with a significantly lower carbon footprint and operating cost than other forms of air transport.

Airlanders are low noise, low pollution, and are environmentally-friendly. They have ultra-long endurance, and a point-to-point cargo-carrying capacity. They can take off and land in a short distance from unprepared sites in desert, ice, water, or open field environments. Hybrid Air Vehicles has been awarded both UK and European grant funding to support the Airlander project. In addition the company has carried out two ‘crowdfunding’ rounds and is proud to have more than 2000 shareholders without whom return to flight would not have been possible.

The Airlander project was selected for funding through a dedicated SME Instrument of Horizon 2020, which the European Commission uses to invest in and support high growth and highly innovative small businesses. The technology is also fully in line with activities under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Societal Challenge of Horizon 2020, which aims to boost the competitiveness of the European transport industries and achieve a European transport system that is resource-efficient, climate-and-environmentally-friendly, safe and seamless for the benefit of all citizens, the economy and society.

Airlander 10 is designed to stay airborne for up to five days at a time to fulfil a wide range of communication and survey roles, as well as cargo carrying and tourist passenger flights.

Please visit http://www.hybridairvehicles.com/about-us/invest-in-us for more details about investment opportunities.

Please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com and Hybrid Air Vehicles on Facebook, on Twitter, on LinkedIn and on Instagram.

For images, please visit www.hybridairvehicles.com/news-and-media/press/image-downloads.

For general media enquiries, contact Chris Daniels, Head of Partnerships and Communications at chris.daniels@hybridairvehicles.net or on 01234 336415.
 

Back to News Archive

Also in About Us

Useful Site Links

Aircraft Airlander Club Careers




Get In Touch

Call us today for further information +44 (0)1234 336400 or you can email us on info@hybridairvehicles.net

Invest In Us

Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited is a privately held UK company and at this stage in our development we undertake periodic fundraising activities. Please click here for further information.
Invest in us

Our Sponsors

Latest News

Plans for the Growing Airlander Business
Anyone living close to Cardington cannot help but notice the huge changes that have happened since HAV moved in nearly 4 years ago. We now have over 100 people on the site most days, and share our hangar with a very busy Warner Bros film studio and storage site. Next door in Hangar 2 the film industry is also making great progress, so busy days at Cardington now see over 1000 people arrive for a day’s work. With new roads and new housing coming, the pace of change will not slow down any time soon. At HAV, our focus now is on building from the great success of the initial Airlander 10 testing, and preparing to produce Airlander aircraft and deliver them all over the globe. So this is a natural time for us to make sure that we are set up for the future with the right site and the right facilities and we have been reviewing our needs to ensure that we can do just that. As a result we have concluded that we now need to begin a process of moving HAV to a new site, away from Cardington. We have worked with everyone on and around the site to make every effort to find a way to stay here, but after that extensive exercise we believe that moving is the right and pragmatic decision for us. We are proud of what we have achieved in the last 4 years and we couldn’t have done it without Cardington. We are constantly amazed by the support and affection of the vast majority of people and businesses in our area, and we are pleased to bring jobs and, we hope, other benefits including our STEM work and other activities to Bedford. We also benefit from the great transport links of this area and its proximity to London. So we’re very pleased to say that we don’t plan to move far. We will make further announcements in the coming weeks, and these will start with a new location for our Engineers and our other office-based teams to work from locally as from the beginning of December. You will also hear in the coming weeks that we will start to use other airfields a little further away to undertake testing and other operations of Airlander. We have been preparing for this transition for a long time – including right from the start by designing Airlander to be maintained and supported outside without need for a hangar after it is built. We’ve been busy this year proving all of our maintenance techniques work without coming back in to the hangar and have made very good progress with that. With extended flight testing and customer demonstrations about to start, some of which need more take-off and landing distance than Cardington allows, this is the right time for Airlander to start visiting some new locations. Finally, we hope to announce at a later date where our planned production location for Airlander will be sited. This location will be the focal point of new employment both in HAV and our supply chain providing nearly 2000 additional jobs in the UK, delivering parts and sub-assemblies for building, testing and delivering 12 or more aircraft per year. We plan to do this from “right-size” hangars, purpose designed for Airlander 10. We are now working to finalise the design for these and will reveal more in future issues. For now, though, we can reveal that our approach to this has been as innovative as you would expect, and we have turned to the event structures industry to develop a road-transportable hangar that can be erected very rapidly in a new location. This gives us - and our customers - the flexibility to respond quickly to demand for hangars here, or in the future operating locations for the aircraft. All this makes it a very exciting time for HAV and the Airlander project. This is, of course, tinged with real sadness to be starting to move away from Cardington and gratitude to everyone in and around us for their support and help over the years here. We hope that Cardington can remain a testing and mooring site for Airlander – as we believe it should - long into the future. With 100 years of heritage behind it, and Airlander just beginning its journey into the world, who knows what new chapters of our industry will be written at Cardington in the future?

Video Channel

How Collaborative Expertise Launched the Airlander Project
A video from The Institution of Engineering and Technology explaining how Hybrid Air Vehicles has been working with Forward Composites to apply decades of race-bred British carbon composite expertise in the development and manufacture of the revolutionary Airlander.
Be sure to pop by if you want to learn the latest about #Airlander. https://t.co/J8y4oLICiS https://t.co/c9gi6nH22R
Great morning for an engine test! #Airlander https://t.co/xoX56fdatT
Looking forward to participating at #EUAero2017. Sustainable & #green aviation a key theme - one of #Airlanders man… https://t.co/4XGVORVgE8